Ryukyumura village
Shikinaen Garden
Peace Memorial Park

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Discovering the Japanese Tropics

The sophistication, elegance and ages-old culture of Japan. On an MSC Grand Voyages Cruise, you can discover the ancient beauty of the Okinawa islands. Belonging to the archipelago of Ryūkyū, their capital is Naha.

There are many attractions and monuments that can be visited. These include the Ryukyumura village and the UNESCO World Heritage site: Shikinaen Garden, where you can admire the characteristic wooden buildings with red tile roofs that overlook an artificial lake and vegetation that inspire meditation and peace.

Peace Memorial Park has a great emotional impact: near the end of World War II, Okinawa was the scene of a bloody battle between Japan and the US, which killed about 200,000 people, more than half of which were civilians.

The shopping and restaurant street in Naha is Kokusai : two kilometers of bars, cafes, hotels and boutiques where you can linger and enjoy yourself sipping awamori , a typical liqueur from the island served with ice. The capital is also home to the museum of the former underground headquarters of the Japanese Navy and the Okinawa Prefectural Museum , where you can discover the history and culture of Okinawa. To understand how the inhabitants lived, you can also visit Ryukyumura Village , a small theme park that recreates a village where craftsmen shape pottery, weave clothing and blankets and where musicians play the sanshin guitar.

Located in front of the East China Sea, the cliff of Cape Manzamou is a true natural sculpture shaped by the ocean: a part of it looks like the trunk of an elephant. It is impossible to leave without taking a photograph.

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    A dìfferent planet
    A dìfferent planet

    There’s nothing quite like a cruise to Japan. The very quintessence of Eastern culture, it has long excited the imagination of the West, with a great many of its joys etched indelibly into the minds of folk who live oceans away.

    Sushi and sake, anime and manga, samurai, ninja and the bullet train: everyone knows something of this island nation’s culture, but there’s far more to discover beyond these highly enjoyable stereotypes. Prepare to be pleasantly disorientated. 

    One of the joys of visiting Japan is experiencing the ordinary ways in which the Japanese aesthetic enters into everyday life. The presentation of food, a window display or the simplest flower arrangement can convey, beyond the walls of any museum or gallery, the essential nature of Japanese art. 

    An MSC cruise to Japan will reveal the major attraction of this “Land of contrasts”; it may be the world’s laziest travel cliché, but those who visit Japan find themselves constantly surprised at the easy co-existence between the country’s past and present. 

    Discover Japan and its unexpectedly beautiful landscapes, its charmingly courteous people and its tangible sense of history and cherished traditions – few will be able to resist the chance to get to grips with its mysterious, yet tantalizing, culture.